Chakra One: The Root Chakra Because I’m a methodical person, let’s start our discussion on the chakras with the first, or root chakra. This chakra is located in the area of the pubic bone and according to those who can see such things, is a deep red color when it’s healthy. The root chakra governs immediate family and survival issues. There’s a reason it’s called the root—it’s all about critical source. If you were lucky enough to be raised in a family that was nurturing enough to create a sense of intimate belonging, then you’ve got a leg up when it comes to the root chakra. We need the tribe to survive, even in a world of 7-11s and iPods. Issues of physical survival also belong to the root chakra. Experiencing the lack of basic physical needs—or even fearing the lack of them—can impact this chakra. Conversely, a damaged root chakra can make us feel insecure even when everything we need (and more) is immediately available. The root chakra is also essential for groundedness. I happen to be one of those people who can live two-thirds out of my body unless I’m really paying attention. But as the sages have told us we have to “be here now”, which requires groundedness. The root chakra is quite literally a root; when we are “alive on the rough green and brown earth”, as Rob Brezsny says, energetic cords run from our root chakras deep into the earth and keep us present. Groundedness is essential for the flow of spiritual energy. Just like an electric cord is dormant until you plug it in, the pulsating power of the universe needs to be grounded before it can move. We’re spiritual beings in a physical world, and to experience the best of both they absolutely must work together. This is an important job of the root chakra. Possible indications of a weak rook chakra: Chronic lower back pain Varicose veins Immune-related disorders Depression Eating disorders Addiction Exercises to strengthen the root chakra: 1. Imagine roots growing downward from the base of your spine all the way into the core of the earth. 2. Stomp your feet. Hard. 3. Walk barefoot directly on the ground in a place that’s safe for your feet. 4. Participate in mindful physical exercise such as Tai Chi, yoga, or taking long walks. 5. If you’re reading this, you’re alive. Remember that means that right now, you’re okay.